Merry Christmas from "Toronto the Good"--where only good things happen. . . like The Norwalk Virus, SARS, The West-Nile Virus, a 24-hr. Blackout, etc.!!In no other city has there been so much colour:besides Mel Lastman, there's been recycle-sorting into boxes of blue, grey, green AND your regular garbage-pail colour!But alas, not only have they obtained a machine that dispenses with the grey and the blue, but our colourful mayor has at last been replaced.We'll hold our breath to see what kind of character is now in office!


Other than that, this family has had only two to three "major" events this year.In March we visited Canada Blooms, and put a new floor in the top level of our house (there are lots of pictures on our website), and over the summer we replaced our deck with ever-lasting plastic (that looks like wood), and visited a music festival at Darion Lakes called "Kingdom Bound". (Would you believe that all three of us actually enjoyed rock concerts?Even if the Mom had to put in ear plugs.Christians make good music!)


Besides the usual visits with family, and camping out at our membership campground at Lazy Lakes (on the beach this year), we spent most of our time sitting outside on our deck.The Black-Out was just like camping, as we had lots of propane for the BBQ and for the propane fridge.The adventure was in keeping the air-conditioner off for several days afterwards; the Mom enjoyed sleeping on the deck a couple of times--she says you can actually hear a lot of nature in Toronto at night!(Mind you, she was chased inside the night she heard the raccoon.)

Letís see what The Dad has been up to. . .

Another year has gone by and we are one year older and hopefully the wiser for it.The only thing we ever seem to do is work on our book hobby.  Last year at this time we had over 3,000 to work with,now we have over 20,000.  I built 3 servers to handle this and they are never big enough.Now we've built one that is so stable that it stayed up the whole time we were at the funeral.  Where are we going with all this?  Nobody knows, except that I read in the paper recently that the federal government is finally putting money into books for blind people.  This means that these large collections may eventually be no longer necessary.Canada is the last of the industrialized countries to do this.  Is internet piracy affecting this?  You bet it is, because, if governments, publishers and society in general doesn't solve the problem the pirates will and in fact already are.  One could say that our real goal is to make the availability of books so fair and just that pirates will no longer distribute books on the internet.

The Proulx mailing list is back up and working properly.  We need to get as many family e-mail addresses as possible so that everyone can stay in contact.  That is a promise that many of us made to grand-mommy, and we need to be reminded of that from time to time.We may be in Hearst for the August long weekend; it is a little early to plan, but hopefully everyone keeps that time in mind for a get-together.

Now we move from books to websites.Samuel reviewed books for The Letter last year and this time he keeps up the good work by giving us several suggestions for websites.


ONLINE AMUSEMENTS:So, you've been out enjoying the snow all day, doing all those winter sports, and now your physicly out of steam.  Well, why not a little mental entertainment?  No, don't turn on the TV, that's neither a mental challenge, nor is it entertainment.  Why not turn to the computer?  Here's a short list of sites taken from my vast collection of favourites that should keep your mind happily occupied for hours.  Print out some of the pages and puzzle over them, or do it while sitting in front of the computer. 


The riddles of the sphinx:

Why not make yourself some steamed espresso and try your mind at some classic, and rather difficult, riddles?  Classical riddles, number puzzles, word games, and sphinx links.  What fun! 


Wordly-Wise Word Games:

Does English fasinate you?  Do you play scrabble, collect dictionaries, or worse enjoy punning?  If any or all of the above are true, you'll love this website.  It has hundreds of word games, in almost any kind you can think of. 


Problems from "Symbolic Logic":

So, you think you have a logical mind?  Why not put it to the test with these 60 puzzles.  Basicly, look at the given statements, and draw the logical conclusion based on them.  Warning!  This is hard to impossible.  It's fun when you get your mind warped the right way, though.  The instructions arn't all that clear (none are included), so here's the first puzzle and how I found the answer as an example of the sort of thing you can expect:

1. Babies are illogical;
2. Nobody is despised who can manage a crocodile;
3. Illogical persons are despised.

Conclusion: First, we see that Illogical persons cannot manage crocadiles.  If they could, they wouldn't be despised, and that would make statement 3 incorrect.  Now, all we have to do to get the answer is connect our facts, and conclude that babies cannot manage crocadiles, as you have to be logical to manage a crocadile, and statement 1 says that babies are illogical.  Confused yet? 


This wonderful site contains a large amount of interesting articles, on a staggering amount of topics.  If you like reading about everything under the sun, this is the site for you.  Best of all, all the articles are by one author, assuring the same accuracy and good writing throughout. 


Enjoy, And remember that your brain always needs excersise


(Samuel & Dustie, resting their brains!)

Tribute to Grand-Mommy, March 8, 1917 - Nov. 20, 2003

Those of us who are English in the Proulx family, may have been tempted to say sometimes that we didn't know her very well.But its easy to know her:just look at Monique, Rita, Gaby, Claudette--her daughters, who are like her.Just look at her sons, who treasured her.There were many times when I came home from a visit with any of my in-laws inspired by their hard work and efficient house-wifery.As a young bride whose mother-in-law bustled here and there to help out when they came to Toronto, I always felt that she had much more energy than me.And if I found that having one child makes for an awful lot of excitement--imagine her life with ten times that amount!


Musing over these things have brought two things to my mind.One is that knowing Rej's mom, and her daughters, is part of who I am today (a better housewife and mother); the other thing is that, in a way, its because of what she went through as the mother of a blind child, that I have not had to go through it.Grand-Mommy, I can never thank you enough for that.



May you find moments to be filled with joy, this Christmas.



Love, Cathie, Rej & Samuel